John Ray, Chief Restructuring Officer and new CEO of deposed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is wasting no time.
Eight days after being appointed head of the restructuring of Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire, he is preparing to liquidate the group’s assets.
Ray, who served as the liquidator of insolvent energy brokerage Enron, just announced that he has hired an outside attorney to review FTX’s assets and decide what to do next. The objective is to sell certain assets with the approval of the judges.
“FTX debtors have engaged Perella Weinberg Partners LP as lead investment bank and have begun preparations for the sale or reorganization of certain businesses,” Ray’s office said in a Nov. 19 statement.
“PWP’s Commitment [Perella Weinberg Partners] is subject to the approval of the Court.”
Some subsidiaries are solvent
Ray also says some FTX affiliates are solvent, which is good news for the platform’s creditors who are hoping to get some of their money back.
“Based on our review last week, we are pleased to learn that many of FTX’s regulated or licensed affiliates, inside and outside the United States, have sound balance sheets, responsible management and valuable franchises,” Ray said in the statement.
“Some of these subsidiaries – such as LedgerX LLC and Embed Clearing LLC, for example – are not debtors in Chapter 11 cases. Other subsidiaries – such as FTX Japan KK, Quoine Pte. Ltd, FTX Turkey Teknoloji Ve Ticaret A.Ş. , FTX EU Ltd, FTX Exchange FZE and Zubr Exchange Ltd – are debtors.”
He continued: “In any event, it will be one of our priorities in the coming weeks to explore sales, recapitalizations or other strategic transactions concerning these subsidiaries, and others that we will identify as we go along. of our work.”
Ray then urges patience “as we put in place the arrangements that corporate governance failures at FTX prevented us from putting in place prior to filing our Chapter 11 cases.”
These announcements come two days after he painted an unflattering portrait of the Bankman-Fried regime. In a 30-page document filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Ray describes a company whose practices seem surreal. What dominates here are the lawless cowboys.
“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial reporting as has happened here,” Ray wrote. “From the compromised integrity of systems and faulty regulatory oversight overseas, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented. “
According to the new CEO, Bankman-Fried received a $1 billion personal loan from Alameda. The company also provided a personal loan of $543 million to Singh and $55 million to Ryan Salame, co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, one of FTX’s subsidiaries.
Alameda Research was Bankman-Fried’s trading platform. There were close ties between FTX and Alameda.
“In the Bahamas, I understand that FTX Group Company funds have been used to purchase homes and other personal items for employees and advisors,” the seasoned executive said.
“I understand that there does not appear to be documentation for some of these transactions as loans, and that some real estate has been registered in the personal names of these employees and advisors in the Bahamian records.”